I recently shared that I’d be taking a short break from writing posts here, with the Barrington Area Library running the show at 365Barrington.com in my absence. Well, after eleven days and thousands of miles on the road, we finally parked our car back at home here in Barrington Monday night. My husband and I took our three kids on a road trip to Ogunquit, Maine with a pit stop in Stowe, Vermont on our way back. It was a welcome and once-a-year break from our daily routines here at home.
Though we had some crabby kids the night we arrived in Maine…
…we were relieved that we survived the 17+ hour trip with 4, 3 and 2-year-old tots in tow.
We spent time at many of the places we set out to visit, including local beaches…
…and sleep deprived due to unfamiliar surroundings, our two-year-old son finally smiled for the camera while riding the carousel at York’s Wild Kingdom Zoo & Amusement Park.
Though we planned many activities in advance, it was these three unpredictable moments from our trip that created the most lasting memories…
1. Lobster Phobia
Our kids freaked out and were severely traumatized during a close encounter with a lobster dinner. (Though I may have played a small part in enhancing their terror ;))
It was an experience we will not soon forget, especially since we caught it on video.
2. The One Toothed Fisherman
We were driving past a seafood restaurant near Cape Neddick in Maine and I asked my husband to pull over when I spotted a rickety old shack covered with colorful lobster buoys. Our youngest was asleep in the car so I roused our 3 and 4-year-olds to explore and take a picture. As we got closer, we noticed a man snoozing in a chair by the shack’s front door.
Our approach awakened him and he invited us inside to take a look at his fresh catch from the morning.
On our way out, my 3-year-old asked the lobsterman why he only had one tooth. My jaw dropped as the insult escaped from Billy’s mouth before I even saw it coming. Thankfully, the lobsterman took it in stride and turned it into a teaching moment, encouraging our kids to take good care of their teeth!
3. Johannes von Trapp Serenade
Just as I was ready to strangle my husband for planning the scenic detour to Stowe, Vermont, significantly prolonging our car ride from Maine back to Barrington, we stumbled upon a magic hour at the Trapp family lodge. During this priceless window, our kids were calm enough to let us enjoy dinner as we sipped beer during a quiet spell on their restaurant patio.
Our son Billy was all sass with a side of charm as he picked a flower for me to wear in my hair.
When the pianist couldn’t remember the words as he played the notes, another man at the bar started singing along. Turns out that singer was Johannes von Trapp, the tenth and youngest of the von Trapp family children whose lives were the inspiration for the play and movie The Sound of Music. Now 75, Johannes runs the Trapp family Lodge, a Vermont mountain resort with a distinctly European character.
Despite the best laid plans, I love how the most lasting memories are rarely scheduled and can’t be predicted. It was this return to relishing the unexpected that led me to realize just how much I miss spending time with my husband outside the daily groove that keeps our family moving forward. It seems so long since we’ve enjoyed a slower pace together and that’s the discovery that I will most treasure from our trip.
And I feel indebted to the Barrington Area Library for covering for me and publishing stories at 365Barrington.com while we were away. The library’s Public Information Officer, Karen McBride, kept the grass green here while we visited Maine and I am so grateful to them for this tremendous gift of stress-free time away from technology.